Microsoft's Live Mesh: an online sync service with Web desktop
Microsoft has launched a test version of an online service for some 10,000 registered beta users. Live Mesh will allow multiple PCs and portable devices to be synchronised via the internet and remotely controlled. On the web desktop in a browser, users will be able to synchronise as many folders as they want across several PCs with an online storage service, for which Microsoft is providing 5 GB at no cost.
The software vendor says it will be gradually adding new applications to the Web desktop and opening the environment for developers. The beta version of the service only works with Windows XP and Vista, but Microsoft says it will be adding Mesh clients for Mac OS and mobile devices.
Live Mesh also represents a change in Microsoft's corporate philosophy. Just a year ago, Bill Gates said that PCs were the centre of digital homes and offices. Now, Microsoft's top software architect Ray Ozzie has turned this paradigm on its head. In a letter to employees quoted by the New York Times, Ozzie declares the internet to be the centre of that universe. In March, Ozzie sketched this internet-based approach at Mix08 in Las Vegas.